Having a Weird Family is Sometimes the Best Thing in the World

One of the most random questions that I have ever been asked is what my favorite coffee cup is.  Granted that was in a game that I was playing with friends at one of our game nights at the church.  The answer to that question is my Harry IMG_0536Potter mug that my sister’s family brought me from Florida.  It is that one on the left.  I like the shape of it and it holds just the right amount of coffee or tea.  Also, it fits in my new Keurig.  Now, you may be asking what the heck my awesome Quidditch mug has anything to do with having an odd family, so, let me explain why this mug is probably one of the best representations of how delightfully odd my family is and why I love them. 

By now most of you already know that I come from a huge family of ten children.  People seem to be fascinated by the fact that we all pretty much get along.  We seem to all in agreement that while, at times, we may not like each other, we will always love each other because we are family.  We may talk crap about each other and get into tiffs, but nobody in the family really does much of anything about it because in the end it always works itself out.  On the other hand, if someone outside the family were to trash talk one of us to our siblings or we find out about, you bet we will stand up for our family and you probably won’t like the result.  That’s just how our family is.  We all have our quirks, but we are all pretty much alike in that we are all huge nerds.  It is quite possibly the best thing about my family.  We all also know a lot about a lot of things.  For example, I can go from talking to my brother, Todd, about the classic cars that we want to eventually get and then talk to our older brother, Robert, about how awesome the Peter Jackson adaptations of The Hobbit has turned out to be and where he pulled information out of some of Tokien’s other works.  Robert and I would love to see The Silmarillion made into a movie. Our older sister, Toni, is the one who’s kids picked out my awesome Quidditch mug up while on a cheer trip.  Yep, you read that right.  My sister’s girls are cheerleaders.  They are awesome at it.  They are also huge nerds.  In fact, it seems to have become a tradition that I take Robert’s two kids and Toni’s two youngest girls to go watch delightful nerd-tastic movies around Christmas so that they can get their wrapping done.  Not sure what we are going to go see now that The Hobbit is finished.  We’ll figure out something.  My sister Nikki’s kids are all nerds too.  Her oldest son was a bit disappointed that this year for our festive holiday socks the girls all got Rainbow Dash and he didn’t get any because he like My Little Pony.  Speaking of my sister Nikki, we both were supper excited when the new Star Wars trailer came out.  Also, our brother Todd, the one up there that I talk about classic cars with, yeah, he asked for the Star Trek movie collection one year for Christmas.  We’re all a bunch of nerds.  We also love our sports.  My oldest sister, Donna, and her husband, Javier, and I will occasionally talk about our love for the Dallas Cowboys in terms of pro football teams.  

It is just all of us siblings that are nerds. Oh, no.  Where do you think we got our nerdyness from?  Our mother has had a computer and a home gaming system since she was a little kid.  In fact, she still plays her games on a regular basis!  Everyday!  She used to kick me off the computer when we only had the desktop so that she could play her games.  My nieces and nephews find it amusing and awesome that their grandma plays games and not just the old games.  My mother kicks my butt at Plants vs. Zombies.  I have never been able to knock her off the high score board.  However, for a while I had the top score on one of the  Zuma levels while Todd had it on another level.  It took her months to knock the two of us off the top.  We got a kick out of it.  She got her love of games from her parents.  We got our ridiculously old Mac computer from him.  That thing is so old that it boots up in DOS and you have to put those large floppy discs in.  This is what it looks like.  That, my friends, is an Apple III.  It was one of the first backwards comparable computers.  It still runs too!  We also have the printer to hook up to it.  Of course, the only floppys that Grandpa left us that weren’t geneology were delightful games like Wildcatter and an odd version of  Pong.  I had a blast playing with it though when I was a kid.  My mother’s mother also played games all the time.  Not just computer games, but she also played board games and card games.  She was kind of odd, but delightful with her love of all things Disney.  Her and Grandpa used to climb the fence to get into the golf course before it opened to practice.  My father is quite the nerd too, not just my mum.  In fact, when the Star Wars movies were re-released in theaters in the 1990’s he gleefully dragged me along to go watch them so that I could see them on the big screen like he first did rather than just on the telly.  We also used to watch Star Trek and various Westerns when I was a kid.  It was great.  His father was an engineer and used to help build various buildings on the Otoe-Missouria buildings.  His mother used to play piano at her church on occasion.  She also used to grow grapes and strawberries in behind her house.  I’ve never known anyone that has been able grow grapes and strawberries quite like her.  Grapes are really hard to get to grown in northern Oklahoma.  

Compared to the rest of the people I grew up with, I am a bit odd.  By the time that I was born some of my siblings were already adults or in high school.  I also grew up listening to the original fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm.  You know, the bloody ones that are not so happy at the end.  My mother also read my Stephen King when I was a baby.  She did that with all of her kids.  We all turned out pretty much the same way.  Of course, because by the time that I was born my parents were older than some of my peer’s parents.  So, when the show Supernatural came on the telly with its awesome “best of mullet rock” soundtrack, my friends we like “OMG!  Have you heard of this band called Blue Öyster Cult?  They must be new!  They’re so cool!”.  I couldn’t help but laugh because I had been listening to them with my parents since I was a little kid.  My nieces and nephew that I mentioned previously will rock out to BÖC, AC/DC, CCR, and Alabama in the car with me when we are driving around and they’re in junior high and grade school!  So, it isn’t just us siblings, those of us that have children, which I don’t, have passed our quirky nerdyness on to our children.  Even some our cousins will share in our nerdyness. I play multi-player games and have Pokémon battles on the 3DS with my cousins that live in Oklahoma.  My cousins that live in Canada and I will nerd out having talks about Doctor Who and other British telly shows.

So, why is it that having a family that is a bit different from the rest of the world sometimes the best thing in the world?  We love each other and will stand up for each other.  On the downside, I sometimes have a bit of difficulty connecting with people my own age because I was raised so differently from people my own age.  I come from a large, loving family. We’re a bit quirky, but we like it that way.  Since we all understand each other, we get along really well.  I hang out with various members of my family on a regular basis.  We have fun.  People outside of our family find us a bit odd because despite all our differences of opinion, we don’t usually get into huge fights that leave us not talking to each other ever again.  Just remember, your family will always be there for you regardless because they are your family.  You are going to have at least a few things in common with them that you can bond over.  The holiday season brings families together and that means you have time to spend with them.  Get to know your own family better and you would probably be surprised by how much you really have in common.